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Essential Company Policies for Businesses Bidding for UK Government Contracts

Written by Thornton & Lowe


Mar 08, 2024

Securing government contracts can be a pivotal achievement for any business. In the UK, the public sector procurement landscape offers numerous opportunities for companies to expand their services. To be competitive in tendering for government contracts, it's essential to develop a comprehensive set of policies. These policies must comply with legal requirements and embody the company's commitment to integrity, resilience, and societal values. Our in-depth guide supports businesses in becoming 'tender ready', a crucial step for successful engagement with public sector procurement.

Beyond the essential policies for securing government tenders, our extensive guide provides deeper insights into bid writing and the intricacies of the government procurement arena. This resource is designed to be invaluable in mastering the tender process and significantly boosting your chances of securing a win - Bid Writing Ultimate Guide’.

Self-certification for Bidders in Procurement: Do I need company policies and procedures for government tenders?

In the realm of public sector procurement, self-certification is a preliminary step where bidders affirm their adherence to essential criteria, thereby streamlining the initial stages of the tender process. For instance, self-certifying that you have a robust Quality Management System (QMS) can quicken the process. However, it's vital to recognise that self-certification is not a guarantee of success. Procurement officials may request evidence to substantiate claims, so businesses must be prepared to provide comprehensive documentation that supports their public sector bids and meets the stringent standards of quality and dependability required by government tenders.

Most Frequently Requested Policies in Public Sector Bids

Diligent bid management is key when dealing with the varied demands of public sector tenders. As part of our commitment to 'tender readiness' and our expertise as a bid writing consultancy, we strive to assist clients in winning government tenders. We do this by developing and tailoring thousands of policies that not only mirror their operational practices but also address the specific requirements of tender requests.

1. Anti-Corruption Policy

An anti-corruption policy is crucial for any company competing for a government tender. Such a policy should articulate a firm position against bribery and corruption, aligned with applicable laws and regulations. It must outline proactive steps to prevent, identify, and address any corrupt activities, thus reinforcing the company's dedication to ethical business practices.

2. Business Continuity Plan (BCP)

A well-crafted Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is essential to showcase a company's preparedness for unexpected disruptions, such as power outages, natural disasters, or health emergencies. Implementing effective business continuity and disaster recovery plans is critical for minimising service interruptions and sustaining reliable partnerships within the public sector.

3. Code of Conduct

A company's Code of Conduct reflects its company ethos, setting forth the expected standards and conduct of its workforce. It is imperative that this document comprehensively communicates the business's core values and the practical application of these principles in day-to-day operations.

4. Complaints Procedure/Manual

By implementing a structured Complaints Procedure, which includes a robust escalation process, companies not only adhere to government contracts but also showcase their dedication to customer complaints resolution and their pursuit of continuous improvement. This methodical approach ensures that customer grievances are addressed with utmost effectiveness and efficiency, providing transparent channels for both escalation and resolution.

5. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

A well-crafted CSR policy is a testament to a company's commitment to social and ethical responsibilities, going beyond mere profit generation. It underscores the firm's dedication to environmental sustainability and community engagement, tackling a range of social issues that mirror the company's deep-seated adherence to ethical business practices, often a requirement in government contracts.

6. Social Value Policy

Our guidelines detail a company's pledge to embed social value in procurement, especially when fulfilling government contracts, with the goal of delivering societal benefits that surpass the fundamental aims of a contract. This policy highlights the company's strategy to make a constructive impact on the wider community, resonating with the growing focus on community engagement in public sector procurement.

7. Environmental Management System (EMS) and Policy Statement

An Environmental Management System (EMS) that aligns with the ISO 14001 standard is crucial for guiding and enhancing a company's environmental policy and performance, particularly when engaging in government contracts. An Environmental Policy Statement, whether used with an EMS or independently, articulates the company’s resolve to minimise its environmental footprint.

8. Carbon Reduction Plan

Amidst escalating global climate concerns, formulating a Carbon Reduction Plan is now a critical strategy for companies, especially when competing for government contracts. This plan outlines a company's commitment to track, manage, and reduce its carbon emissions, thereby significantly lowering its environmental impact.

9. Equal Opportunities Policy

In accordance with the Equalities Act 2010, an Equal Opportunities Policy should demonstrate a company's initiatives that promote equality and diversity, essential for securing government contracts. This crucial policy mirrors a company’s dedication to fostering an inclusive work environment, where diversity is not just accepted but celebrated.

10. Information Security and GDPR Policy

In today's digital landscape, developing an Information Security and GDPR Policy is indispensable for any enterprise, particularly those seeking government contracts. This policy should clearly articulate the measures in place to protect sensitive data, ensuring adherence to stringent data protection standards and GDPR regulations.

11. Modern Slavery Policy

A Modern Slavery Policy represents a company's official commitment to eradicating any form of modern slavery from its operations and supply chain, which is particularly crucial for securing government contracts. By adopting a Modern Slavery Policy, a company reinforces its stance on ethical business practices, ensuring its activities are untainted by exploitative labour and align with the highest standards of integrity.

12. National Minimum Wage or Living Wage

Upholding fair labour practices, including adherence to the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage, is essential for businesses aiming to secure government contracts. These practices serve as a clear indicator of a business's commitment to ethical employment and fair compensation, showcasing a responsible approach to workforce management.

13. Quality Management System (QMS) and Policy Statement

Implementing a Quality Management System (QMS) that aligns with ISO 9001 standards is a strategic move for companies pursuing government contracts, as it places quality at the core of their operations. The Quality Policy Statement is a testament to this commitment, underlining the company's unwavering dedication to achieving and sustaining operational excellence.

14. Recruitment Policy

Additionally, a Recruitment Policy should mirror comprehensive and fair hiring practices, in line with the company's Equal Opportunities Policy, a vital aspect when competing for government contracts. This policy must articulate the recruitment methods and criteria to guarantee transparency and provide equal chances for all applicants.

Getting Tender Ready? Require Policies, Accreditations & Bid Writing Consultancy?

In our article on ‘how successfully bid for government contracts online’ our expertise extends to advanced bid writing consultancy, offering strategic insights on how to effectively navigate government tenders. We provide detailed guidance to ensure businesses are 'tender ready', equipping them with the knowledge to excel in the competitive arena of government contracts. For more information please use the contact form below!

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